New Functions in Organic Materials through Molecular Designs

Seminar | December 11 | 10-11 a.m. | 775 Tan Hall

 Yun Liu, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

 College of Chemistry

The synergy between synthetic chemistry and physical organic concepts inspires new opportunities for organic materials. This seminar will detail how concept-driven molecular design approaches for organic materials enable new topologies and properties for applications ranging from salt extraction to renewable electrolytes. The first part of the talk will discuss the design of a three-dimensional molecular cage, which recognizes chloride anions with a femto-molar affinity (1017 M–1) by using only C–H hydrogen bond donors. Secondly, I will illustrate a new strategy to synthesize cyclic polymer using disulfide bond (S–S) exchange, in which the macromolecular topology is controlled by the initiator’s nucleofugality. The dynamic nature of the polymer enables facile recycling of monomers under catalytic conditions. Finally, the talk will address a new paradigm of force-biased chemical reactions enabled by the emerging field of polymer mechanochemistry. A highly stereoselective retro-[2+2] reaction of unactivated cyclobutanes will be highlighted as a unique probe into the mechanochemical modes of activation.